Monday, March 16, 2009

Doomsday and me

“No one knows the day or hour when these things will happen.” – Jesus, as quoted by Mark 13:37 (NLT)

Surfing through the channels one evening, I settled on a documentary called “The Bible Code.”

According to this theory, secret codes written into the Bible pinpoint doomsday: Dec. 21, 2012. An ancient Mayan calendar also foretells the end of world on that date. Scientists have added to the intrigue by predicting that a comet will crash into the earth about that time, annihilating life as we know it.

Using a system of deciphering codes called “equidistant letter sequencing” or ELS (sounds like a disease), Bible scholars found some interesting names hidden in Scripture: Napoleon Bonaparte, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Adolf Hitler, John F. Kennedy and the name of his assassin. Also found were references to the Great Depression, Pearl Harbor and 911. The codes also reveal, if you believe them, the fall of America in 2009 and 2010. As if all the global warming predictions aren’t enough to scare us.

Doomsday predictions abound, and the science behind the predictions is convincing. We now have the technology for all the prophecies in the book of Revelation—the scrolls, the trumpets, the bowls of judgment—to come true.

I don’t need a code to tell me things are bad and getting worse or that the world is coming to an end. The Bible tells me in plain language.

What should we do? Pack our bags and wait for the sound of the trumpet? Try to get everything done we want to accomplish? Eat, drink and be merry? Worry?

First, don’t hop on the doomsday bandwagon. Be aware of the events unfolding in the world and their possible significance, but keep Jesus’ advice in mind: no one knows when this will be. Not even He, the Son of God, knows. Only the Father. So why worry about it?

Second, watch, pray, and keep on doing what you’re called to do: being a husband and father, wife and mother, son, daughter, good neighbor, worker. Live your life in such a way that people see Jesus in you. Jesus told parable after parable about what God expects of us. Read them.

Third, be ready. First century believers kept their eyes on the sky. They lived in expectation and readiness that Jesus could return at any time. “It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready” (Luke 12:38). Readiness means making sure you are right with God (John 3:16, 36; 1 John 5:11–12) and are faithfully serving Him where He has called you to serve.

Fourth, know Scripture. Read it, study it, meditate on it, believe it. Everything we need to know is in there: how to live life here on Earth, how to get to Heaven, what’s going to happen to those who reject God, what’s going to happen in the end times. Know the Son, who is the truth (John 14:6). Knowing the truth frees us—from fear, worry, anxiety (John 8:32). Bibles are burned in some countries. We should be burning our Bibles, too—in our minds and hearts. Know the truth so that you can spot what is false.

Fifth, don’t argue about the end times—whether or not, for example, there’s going to be Rapture. What does it matter? If you’re a believer in the John 3:16 way, you’re covered. God promised to take care of you, and He will. If there is a Rapture, you’ll be whisked away to Heaven. If there isn’t, God will give you the strength to endure to the end. Either way, you win.

Finally, remember faith, hope and love. Keep the faith, let hope keep you joyful, and cultivate love.

I love nature, God’s creation, and am sad to think this will all come to an end someday. No more sky, no more sea, no more trees, no more flowers, no more birds, no more mountains, no more glorious sunsets.

But the Bible also promises not only a new heaven, but also a new earth (Revelation 21:1)—one uncorrupted by evil and sin—a beautiful world, utopia, the paradise God wanted for us in the beginning.

I can’t wait.

Dear God, help me to look beyond doomsday to the beautiful place You have planned for all who believe, trust and obey. Help me to keep doing what You have called me to do. Amen.
Special-Tea: Read Mark 13, Matthew 24, Luke 21

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